At a height of 2300 feet, Kalavantin Durg is yet another high peak in Maharashtra that beckons enthusiastic trekkers. It’s an uphill climb and takes around three and a half hours for one to scale and reach the peak. Making your way, through a road which runs a little away from the base village- Thakurwadi you begin with the snaky road that leaps and bounds and leads you to the peak.
If you are travelling from Bandra you can take the first train out to VT that leaves at 4:10 am or the one after that at around 4:30 am and get off at Vadala station. From Vadala station you can board the 5:09 am train that leaves for Panvel and reaches at 6:10 am. Once at Panvel, it’s a brisk eight minute walk to the bus depot. Ask around and you can take a bus to the village Thakurwadi, the first bus leaves around half five, followed by another at 7am. While waiting for the bus, you could munch on a quick snack or sip from garam chai and gear up for the long-drawn-out road ahead. The next bus is around 9:40 am, but its best to take the 7am bus and begin your trek early. It’s an hour’s drive to the base village from where you can begin your uphill climb. Its best to take a bus as the fare is INR 18/- only as compared to a local auto where the fare is INR 300/- which can seat four passengers only.
From the base of the village you can spot the two ranges that are spread ahead of you. Prabalgad is one of the peaks and other is Kalavantin Durg. Ask the enthusiastic villagers for direction to the respective peak and they will happily guide you. If you do have a keen and watchful eye for nature you will spot the many bird species, plant varieties and insects that dwell in the lush greenery.
Once you have trekked for around two hours, you will see a deity carved into a rock and coated with a spray of orange. A little further on and you are in for a treat at a small shack which provides not only chai but also dishes out meals and makes available stay and lodging. You can contact either Namdev K. Bhutanbra on 08451929898 or Balu on 08097089491 or Nilesh on 08056186321 and book your stay if you want to spend your night in the lap of nature and enjoy the breathtaking view all around you. They also have their own website and well written blog that you can research for more details. (website: prabalgad.jigsy.com or Blog: prabalgad.blogspot.com)
The best time to trek is around June to Jan. One can trek during the monsoons and enjoy the sudden burst of showers or during the cool winters and experience the blowy winds. Although trekking during the monsoon is a bit risky as the path all along has patches of loose mud and rolling stones. Stop along the way at the many streams and baby waterfalls and splash on some chilly water to freshen up or just take a quick dip and laze around in the flowing waters for a while.
As you continue your walk through the muddy and rocky path, you will begin to see more of Kalavantin Durg which makes it seem you have lots more to accomplish. But another hour and a half and you are ascending the never ending flight of stairs.
The zigzag flight of stairs that are cut into the hill are also laden with moss, which make the climb risky and knotty. You need to ensure your hands are free and you have something to hold on too while ascending the peak. Once you have ascended the peak its sheer pride and happiness and a moment of triumph.